United Way of Chattanooga

Get Tax Assistance Today!
February 12th, 2016 3:25 PM



During tax season each year, the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga coordinates the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in partnership with the City of Chattanooga, the IRS, and the United Way of Greater Chattanooga. Offering free tax preparation services to low- to moderate-income individuals and families, the VITA program served 8,431 individuals and families during the 2015 tax season, resulting in more than $11.1 million in tax refunds that were reinvested in the local economy.

The VITA program represents the essence of community partnership and volunteer spirit—and the economic empowerment mission the Urban League strives to achieve every day. The program relies on many volunteers throughout the community who work in sites throughout Chattanooga and Cleveland from January to April, helping individuals and families navigate the tax code and file their tax returns. Volunteers complete an extensive training program led by IRS staff and must pass an exam to be IRS certified to provide free tax assistance.

Since the Urban League and its partners began coordinating the VITA program in 2006, more than 39,100 tax returns have been processed, providing close to $11 million in refunds to support the individuals and families most in need of tax preparation assistance. The average income of a family served by the Chattanooga VITA partnership is approximately $21,000.  The VITA program also saves Chattanooga’s consumers over half a million dollars in tax preparation fees each year. Each client served by the VITA program saves, on average, approximately $165 in filing and processing fees they would have spent with a paid preparer.

Chattanooga is one of the leaders in the growing national effort to promote the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child and Dependent Care Credit, and other tax credit programs for working individuals and families. Unlike many other VITA programs across the nation, the Chattanooga program has realized that processing returns is not enough. By working in a coordinated effort throughout the county to manage and advertise the program, the partnership has been able to significantly increase the number of individuals receiving free tax assistance. The partnership also focuses on enhancing opportunities for client financial literacy and education.

Call United Way's 2-1-1 Resource Center for the most up-to-date information on hours and appointments.

Tax Forms You Need When Filing  (Please note:  IRS has changed its verification rules.)

2016 VITA Tax Schedule

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February 1st, 2016 10:03 AM


"You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book to read to a child.”

United Way of Greater Chattanooga is celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday by encouraging kids to get excited about reading. It's all part of Read Across Chattanooga, a local celebration that takes place during Read Across America week. Kids need to read to succeed, so United Way wants to make reading fun. It takes place Saturday, March 5 at Hamilton Place Mall, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kids love Dr. Seuss, but many children don’t get to experience his zaniness outside of the classroom. United Way and its partners are bringing this event to the public, at no charge, so all children can enjoy “The Cat in the Hat” and other Dr. Seuss classics.

Local celebrities will be on hand to help with readings and will share their favorite books from Dr. Seuss's library of work. Bring your children to hear one of their favorites, or maybe reminisce while listening to a favorite story from your childhood.

On Saturday, March 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be a big birthday party in honor of Dr. Seuss. There will be free cookies, celebrity book readings every 30 minutes, and arts & crafts activities courtesy of Barnes & Noble, and other community partners The Cat in the Hat will visit, as will the Bookmark Fairy, and there will be one free Dr. Seuss book – while supplies last – for each of the first 500 children who visit. Next to the play area in the mall, children under age 5 can receive a learning checkup. Families can also receive a voucher for one free adult ticket and one free child's ticket to the Creative Discovery Museum when their child receives a learning checkup.

Hamilton Place Mall, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Great American Cookie Company, Sunny 92.3, Subway and Barnes & Noble are partnering with United Way to bring this event to the public and provide literacy activities for children.

All these events are free to the public and everyone is invited to attend. For more information about United Way, please call 423.752.0300 or visit www.LiveUnitedChattanooga.org.

volunteer reading to child

Posted by Kelley Nave   |  0 Comment(s)

January 29th, 2016 10:19 AM

United Way's Volunteer Center is accepting nominations for the annual Volunteer of the Year awards until Wed., Feb. 24, 2016. The awards will be presented on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, at the annual Volunteer United Celebration presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. 

Every year, local companies committed to community service and nonprofit organizations from across the area join together to celebrate volunteerism and to honor local volunteer champions for their efforts. United Way's Volunteer Center, the Corporate Volunteer Council and Directors of Volunteers in Agencies (DOVIA) annually host the Volunteer United Celebration during National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 10 to April 16, 2016. This year's Celebration will be held Tuesday, April 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bessie Smith Hall.   

To nominate an outstanding volunteer, complete the nomination form below or download and print it (look to your right on this page) for submission by mail. Return completed forms to the attention of Anna Baker at United Way's Volunteer Center at 630 Market Street Chattanooga, TN 37402 or FAX to 423-267-8060.

Completed nomination forms must be in house by 5 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 24.

One volunteer winner from our region will be recognized from each of the following 5 categories:

  • Community: Volunteers who help with programs that do not fall into one of the categories below, such as disaster programs, homeless shelters, churches, feeding programs, animal rescue etc.
  • Youth Programs & Education: Volunteers who help at schools, afterschool programs, day care programs, mentoring programs, or any program focused on educating or helping children and teens overcome difficulties and achieve their full potential
  • Environment & Health: Volunteers who help organizations or programs in the areas of human health (hospitals, disease prevention programs, nutrition education, assisting individuals with specific health concerns, etc.) and volunteers whose work focuses on environmental issues that impact our community (clean air and water, wilderness preservation, etc.)
  • Young Volunteers (for volunteers through age 19): Children, teens, or youth groups (scouts, Awana, etc.) who are volunteering to make a difference in our community.
  • Family Volunteer: Individuals who volunteer together as a family unit on a regular basis at any area nonprofit. 

Judges will evaluate nominees on the following nominating criteria:

  • Type of serviced performed by Honoree
  • Impact of Honoree's Service on the Community
  • Qualities that make the Honoree an Outstanding Volunteer
  • Uniqueness of Honoree and his or her service  

Contact Anna Baker, Volunteer Director for United Way's Volunteer Center, by calling 423-752-0316 or email annabaker@uwchatt.org for more information.  

The Volunteer Center is part of the United Way of Greater Chattanooga, which funds local programs that create opportunities for people to care for themselves and each other, making our community the best at helping people achieve their potential. Because of an endowment fund that assists in covering all overhead and administrative expenses, all un-designated campaign contributions (100%) go directly to services that help individuals and families in the greater Chattanooga area, north Georgia and northeast Alabama.



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